Identity credentials of around 45,000 international passengers have been stolen to unlock smuggled mobile phones since the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) launched its crackdown on illegally-imported devices.

This was revealed by PTA and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) while briefing a federal cabinet meeting presided by Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan last week, a private media outlet reported.

The authorities informed the cabinet that travel documents such as passport, CNIC copies etc of around 44,943 resident and overseas Pakistanis were stolen and misused to unlock the smuggled phones since the implementation of PTA’s Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS).


According to PTA, 986,000 mobiles phones were received for registration, out of which around 656,000 were registered under FBR baggage rule exemption with no tax while around 33,000 mobile phones were registered under the duty paid category.

PTA says that with the implementation of DIRBS, a significant increase has been seen in the legal commercial import of mobile phones. The authority hopes the system will give more dividends towards the elimination of smuggled phones.